The first Filipino dish that I learned was Adobo, a popular Filipino dish that consists mostly of meat, garlic, peppercorns, soy sauce, vinegar, and bay leaves. It was first used as a way to preserve meat for longer periods because refrigerators weren’t a thing yet. Usually, people use chicken or pork to make this dish. From here, many versions have stemmed out. Squid Adobo is another variation, and it’s usually punchier than its chicken and pork counterparts.
Mom used to make this a lot when we were growing up. She even added kangkong to her version, something that I wasn’t able to do because we didn’t have any kangkong. This dish brings many memories from growing up: bringing this in a “baunan” (lunch box) that stores heat, and opening this in school, getting some “ooohs” and “aahs” from classmates, eating this dish on the dinner table after school with my mom, dad, and siblings. We don’t have it as often lately, but recently, I’ve had the chance to make it again for my family during the lockdown. So for today, I will be sharing with you the squid version.
I used small to medium-sized squids for this dish as it best absorbs the flavor of the adobo. Keep an eye on your squid and make sure not to over boil it! This will make the squid tough and chewy and hard to eat.
Adobong Pusit – Squid Adobo
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes (estimate)
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced (you can have more garlic if you’re a garlic-lover like me!)
- 2-3 tomatoes, cubed roughly
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup to ¾ cup vinegar (start with ½ cup, and if you feel like you want it a bit more sour like I do, add a bit more vinegar)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 kilo of squid, cleaned and sliced into 1-inch pieces, or thicker if you prefer. (you can opt to separate the squid ink for adding later on)
- 1-2 teaspoons of sugar or 1 packet of stevia/sweetener
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 long finger chili (siling pangsigang/siling haba), sliced diagonally in the middle. If you want your dish a bit spicier, you can opt to make more chili slices diagonally.
- 1 bird’s eye chili (siling labuyo)
- 1 teaspoon ginger, sliced thinly
- Put the soy sauce, vinegar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Do not stir at this point to give time for the vinegar to incorporate well with the other ingredients.
- Once it boils, put in the squid and simmer in low medium heat for five minutes.
- Turn off the heat and separate the squid from the liquid. Set aside.
- In a separate pot wok, heat the oil and then saute the garlic, onions ginger and red chili (if you will use the ginger and red chili)
- Add in the squid and saute for a minute.
- Add in the liquid that had been set aside a while ago, and bring to a boil again. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the squid ink, salt (if needed), pepper, and sugar/sweetener and mix well.
- Because I like my sauce to be a bit thicker, I separated the squid from the liquid once again and let it reduce in half in low medium heat. Some want it even thicker and reduce it to a fourth of the actual liquid.
- Once the sauce is reduced to half, it will thicken a little bit. Add in the squid again and simmer for 2 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat and serve! This is best enjoyed with steamed, plain, unsalted rice.